Civic Passions: Seven Who Launched Progressive America (and What They Teach Us)

Civic Passions: Seven Who Launched Progressive America (and What They Teach Us)

by Cecelia Tichi
     
 

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Civic Passions: Seven Who Launched Progressive America (and What They Teach Us)

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Social historian Tichi makes the case that there are widespread parallels between the excesses and inequities of the country's first Gilded Age over a century ago and the lopsided social and economic landscape of our day. In a lively spur to reform-minded discussion, Tichi offers profiles of seven Victorian-era reformers—including an industrial health advocate (Alice Hamilton), antilynching crusader (Ida B. Wells-Barnett), consumer advocate (Florence Kelley), jurist (Louis Brandeis) and child welfare advocate (Julia Lathrop)—selected for how they typified a generational commitment to “fresh thinking and action.” And their deeds—eloquently channeled here—do resound with renewed import now. Often from the privileged middle classes themselves—Wells-Barnett being a notable exception—these men and women fought tirelessly to better the lives of working people in a country revamped by sprawling corporate might, industrial organization, endemic prejudice and the concomitant intellectual rationales of Social Darwinism. Many lives were saved and improved as a result, though the system arguably remained fundamentally unchanged. Hamilton, at the end of her long and distinguished life—a few months shy of the passage of OSHA—nevertheless pessimistically bemoaned an “instinctive American lawlessness.” (Nov.)
From the Publisher
Beautifully written . . . each chapter succeeds in gripping readers by plunging them into the middle of the subject's stream of life, generally at a pivotal moment in his or her career.--Indiana Magazine of History

Remind[s] readers that the legacies of century-old struggles are woven deeply into the fabric of life today. . . . Tichi's writing is always clear; and she invests Civic Passions with narrative brio.--Bookforum

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780807871911
Publisher:
The University of North Carolina Press
Publication date:
02/01/2011
Edition description:
1
Pages:
400
Sales rank:
763,461
Product dimensions:
6.10(w) x 9.20(h) x 1.00(d)

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
In elegant and engaging prose, Tichi relates the dramatic stories of seven lives that teach us great lessons. She captures the relationships of people and social movements, offering a series of portraits that weave biography, politics, history, and social reform. This is a terrific book.--Daniel Horowitz, Smith College

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